White, the color commentator for the Auburn Network Football Broadcast, spoke to men at Saturday’s Sportsman Banquet at Carbon Hill High School. On Sunday, he addressed the congregation at First Baptist Church of Carbon Hill.
“When you become the quarterback at either Alabama or Auburn, that puts you on a platform to share and visit with people. It gives you the opportunity to go across the state and visit with fans in the state. It’s an awesome responsibility to have,” White said.
“When I won the starting job at Auburn, I remember Pat Sullivan telling me that the five most famous people in the state of Alabama are the governor, the head coaches at Alabama and Auburn and the quarterbacks at both schools. That leadership doesn’t happen just between the lines, you carry it with you always.”
During Saturday’s banquet, White, who is a father of two, spoke about the difference between being valuable and invaluable.
“Players like Mark Ingram at Alabama and Cam Newton at Auburn were valuable, but guys who didn’t get as much attention like Corey Reamer at Alabama and Kodi Burns at Auburn were invaluable. They aren’t going to be on an NFL roster, but neither team could have won without them,” White said. “It’s like with your kids. Buying them some sports equipment is valuable, but going outside and throwing the ball with them is invaluable.”
White, who wore his national championship ring, also talked Auburn football.
Barrett Trotter was named the Tigers’ starting quarterback last week. White thinks he will do well in offensive coordinator’s Guz Malzahn’s system.
“The one thing you can’t do with Barrett Trotter is compare him to last year’s quarterback. Cam Newton is one of the best quarterbacks to ever play college football, not just at Auburn. It’s unfair to think Barrett Trotter can do what he did. Does he have Cam Newton’s speed or arm strength? Not too many college players do.
“I think Barrett will be successful. He has the ability, the leadership skills and the respect of his teammates. The Malzahn system is perfect for him. You spread the ball around and hit receivers in open space. I think Barrett will be fine, the biggest challenge will be on the offensive and defensive lines. There will be a lot of new faces out there, but I think overall, Auburn should have just as much, or more talent than last year. That may sound crazy coming off a 14-0 year. You can’t replace a Cam Newton and Nick Fairley, but top to bottom I think there will be more depth.”
Auburn opens the season Sept. 3 at home against Utah State. From there, the schedule gets tough. Auburn makes road trips to Clemson, South Carolina, Arkansas, LSU and Georgia.
“The schedule is a bear, especially in October. It’s important to get off to a fast start. Auburn needs to end September with success,” White added.
Next August, former Alabama coach Gene Stallings will speak at the Sportsman Banquet as well as the church next year.
“We were blessed to have Stan come. We appreciate him being there. He was very nice and personable,” said Scott McCullar, pastor of First Baptist Church of Carbon Hill. “Stan stayed to give all the autographs and take pictures. Most of all, I was excited that we had people who don’t go to church anywhere come and see that we have a love for them at First Baptist Church. I would also like to thank the members of the church who spent untold hours help putting this together. It never would have happened without their hard work and effort.”